Now that suddenly doesn’t mean you need to have a sofa in your office that employees can lie on and tell you all their troubles and woes. What it does mean is you need to build a strong understanding of how humans actually work - what gets them energised and excited about your strategic agenda, and proactively taking action to get the important stuff done. Once you master Human Beings:101 it will become clear that people really do want change and what needs to be done to achieve it.
Which is why the ‘ON-Brand' approach to organisational change follows a clear process deeply rooted in behavioural psychology. And it's all about Shaping Conversations, Changing Mindsets, and Aligning Behaviours.
Behavioural psychology sounds complex and slightly scary but it provides a clear insight into why humans think and behave the way they do. It’s principles allow us to understand why some people instantly buy into change while others resist to the point of actively attempting to sabotage any change initiatives. Sound familiar?
At the end of the day, with change management you are dealing with people, and the field of psychology helps us to know how to get the best from them.
While it might have been around a while now, I highly recommend having a read of the McKinsey article titled The Psychology of change management to get a greater understanding of the role of psychology in the commercial world. While it’s publication date of 2003 might seem like a long time ago in a world characterised by rapid change, I don't think human motivations have evolved that much in that time, such that the principles explored are any less relevant today. In fact they are probably more relevant as the rate of change and redundancy accelerates and we all just try and keep up.
The article talks about how insights from the field of psychology "have in general been applied to business only piecemeal and haven’t had a widespread effect. Recently, however, several companies have found that linking all of the major discoveries together in programs to improve performance has brought about startling changes in the behaviour of employees — changes rooted in new mind-sets".
It also talks about four conditions that must be in place for mindsets to change:
ON-Brand's TeamTalk conversation process is designed to address all of these head on, supported by an integral storytelling dimension (sharing what ‘great’ looks like) - something the case study in the article identifies as extremely valuable in achieving change.
The article The psychology of change management, nicely describes how most people really do want change, they just need to see both the rational and emotional 'case' for doing it! Call us flawed, call us difficult to manage, but us humans really do want to embrace change, we just need to believe in the 'Why'! And one thing I have learned over the years is you cannot just assume people know or understand the 'Why'. That's an area that requires real time and effort.
And if you want further proof of why people can, and will, embrace change then watch this great TED video by Jason Clarke - the messages are really clear and powerful. It's time well spent.
So, senior leaders... you need to develop a sound understanding of psychology if you want to create a work culture that embraces change. But the great news is ON-Brand Partners can help with that. Let’s talk about what really drives change, and the smart frameworks, processes, tools and resource we have that can get your workplace set up to embrace and own it, for the long term.